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The definitive step-by-step guide to preparing for your wedding dress shopping

Wedding dress shopping is one of the most exciting wedding planning tasks for a bride. We like to think of it as a wonderful and unique journey where brides explore diverse options and finally find a magical dress that transforms them into the beautiful brides they always wanted to be.

However, the path to finding this one and the only perfect wedding dress is not simple. It is fraught with challenges and the options are endless. So, it is essential to plan for the task and avoid drowning in the endless variety of dresses presented to you.

This is where we will help you!

This step-by-step guide will prepare you for your impending wedding dress shopping and the task will not overwhelm you.

Over the next chapters, we will tell you what to expect at each stage leading to wedding dress shopping. We will also tell you how to navigate potential issues so you can enjoy the shopping experience, just like you deserve to.

Let us begin!

Step 1: Factors to consider when shopping for your wedding dress

Are you unsure of how to begin planning for wedding dress shopping?

Don’t worry, for we know exactly what will help you set your shopping criteria. These are practical factors or constraints, that directly affect your dress decision. Start by considering these factors and you will be able to narrow down your search. So, here they are!

Venue and theme 

Have you decided on a wedding theme yet? Your chosen theme will determine your venue choice and directly impact your wedding dress selection. We’ll tell you how.

Imagine you have your heart set on a beach wedding in summer. Would it be practical to wear a heavy satin gown with an elaborate train to this venue?

No!

Such a wedding dress will look inappropriate and it will also be uncomfortable.

Instead, you will have to limit your choices to dresses made from light fabrics in simple silhouettes that are comfortable for the venue and weather. Such dress choices will also tie your look to the theme of your wedding.

Budget

Wedding dresses are expensive. Nevertheless, there are options for every budget.

If budget is a constraint, you will have to stick to affordable choices. So, this is another factor to plan before you go shopping. The latest designer wedding dresses will be super-costly, while ones from previous seasons are usually cheaper in comparison. Keep this in mind when you go shopping.

Body shape and personal preferences

It does not matter how expensive or amazing a wedding dress is. It will not look good on you unless the silhouette flatters your body shape.

So, you should look for dress styles that flatter your assets and distract from less attractive parts.

If you are either plus-size or petite, you may have to tailor your wedding dress search to suit your specific requirements. Not all bridal salons stock dresses suitable for plus-sized or petite brides. So, call ahead to check whether options are available and you won’t waste time at places that don’t stock collections in your size.

It is also important to choose a style that feels comfortable since you will be spending several hours in your wedding dress. Steer clear of dresses that make you feel conscious, restrict movement, or are too bulky to handle.

So, you are now aware of the different factors to consider before you step into a wedding shop.

Next, let us look at another key step of preparing for your wedding dress shopping—choosing the right time to shop.

Step 2: Choose the right time to go shopping 

Is there such a thing as the right timing when shopping for your wedding dress?

Yes! And this is very important when making your shopping plans. We’ll tell you why.

When you place your order with a bridal salon, they pass your details to the designer. The designer then starts creating your wedding dress from scratch. Since wedding dresses are elaborate garments, the entire creation process takes months.

Once the dress is ready, it will be sent to the bridal store. However, it is not yet time to take the dress home.

You now need dress alterations to make it fit perfectly. This can take another month or so.

So, the entire process from when you place your order to taking the fitted gown home can take anywhere between six and nine months. So, this is how early you should finish your wedding dress shopping once you fix your wedding date.

If you shop too late, you jeopardize your chances of getting the gown you love. Although some designers undertake rush orders, they charge extra for it. And imagine the disappointment if the gown you love cannot be created at short notice and you must settle for something else.

Shopping too early isn’t wise either. New collections come out every six months. So, if you shop too early, you may miss looking at the latest trends.

Play it safe and plan your wedding dress shopping six to nine months before the wedding. This should leave you enough time to sort out everything and take your dress home in the weeks leading up to your wedding.

Step 3: Plan the wedding dress budget 

Your wedding dress is one of the costliest items in your wedding budget. Be clear about what you can afford to spend on it before you go shopping and you can avoid upsetting the rest of your wedding plans.

To come up with a realistic wedding dress budget, you should first understand wedding dress pricing and associated charges. Let us look at what they are in the following section.

Understand wedding dress costs

Most brides spend between $400 and $1700 on their wedding dress.  However, there are dresses that are more expensive or cheaper.

In any case, you should have realized that wedding dresses cost more than regular dresses. Wondering why this is so? Here are the obvious reasons.

  • Wedding dresses use expensive fabric. Most silhouettes also have several layers of fabric. This larger quantity of high-quality fabric contributes to the price.
  • Wedding dresses involve intricate details like embroidery, lace appliques, and beading. Most of these details are done by hand. The labor and time involved in creating such stunning gowns add to the price.
  • Wedding dress construction is different from that of regular dresses. Internal boning is used in many designs and the structure has several layers of fabric. This involves more effort and hence a higher cost.
  • Finally, wedding dresses by famous designers are more expensive due to the designer tag accompanying it.

These factors justify the higher costs of wedding dresses. More details on why wedding dresses are so expensive are available here, on the Southern living blog page.

One important thing that you should know when buying a wedding dress is that your expenses aren’t limited to just the cost. There are some unavoidable additional charges that you will incur, and here they are.

Unavoidable additional costs—accessories and alterations 

Apart from the price of the wedding dress, expect to spend some money on the following.

Alterations and fittings: When you order a dress, you pick a size that is closest to your actual measurements. This means that once your dress arrives you will need custom alterations to have the dress fit to your exact measurements. These alterations are additional expenses. The actual cost will depend on the extent of the changes needed. More information on wedding dress alterations are available in the following video.

Accessories: Your bridal look is incomplete without the right accessories. This includes your wedding jewelry, shoes, veil, head-piece, and undergarments. You will have to set aside a part of your wedding dress budget for this purchase as well.

Here is a video that outlines how to accessorize your wedding dress.

For more tips on choosing your wedding day jewelry, take a look at this video we created for the purpose.

Dry cleaning and preservation: Whether you decide to keep your gown after your wedding or sell it off, you must have it professionally cleaned after your wedding. Otherwise, the quality of your gown will deteriorate over time and it won’t be suitable to hand down or sell. So, factor in this cost as well.

Now you should have a better idea of how to calculate your wedding dress budget and all the factors to consider.

What if you are on a tight budget?

Although wedding dresses are expensive, there are still ways to save money on your wedding gown. Read on to find what your options are.

When your wedding dress budget is small 

How nice would it be if you could shop without limitations for the wedding dress of your dreams!

Unfortunately, this is impossible!

When the price is a constraint, there are some ways to maximize your wedding dress budget and find a fabulous dress for a bargain price.

  • Limit your dress selection to dresses that fall within budget. Resist the temptation to try on dresses that you cannot afford to avoid disappointment.
  • Remember that the more details a dress has, the costlier it will be. Choose from simple styles for better prices and dress it up with statement accessories to complete the effect. Low-cost accessories like beaded belts, vintage veils, sparkling jewelry, and shrugs can enhance your overall bridal look.
  • Look out for sales at bridal boutiques, where you can find great deals on wedding dresses. During sample sales, boutiques sell their stock at discounted prices to make space for new collections. You can score fabulous gowns at bargain prices at such sales.
  • Mix and match bridal separates to create your unique look at an affordable price. This not only lets you stay within budget but is a modern and smart approach to wedding dress shopping.

The wedding dress budget is a critical factor concerning wedding dress shopping. Once you figure it out, it is time for the next step which is researching your options.

Step 4: Do your research 

A little planning goes a long way, and we want to make sure you are well-equipped with all the information you need to make the right choice. So, we will tell you all the different things you should analyze, understand, and note down before you set foot in a bridal store.

Understand essential wedding shopping lingo 

When you attend your wedding shopping appointment, you will hear terms like mermaid, fit and flare, empire, butterfly sleeves, illusion necklines, organza, tulle and more. Do you know what these terms mean?

If not, spend some time trying to understand wedding dress lingo, so you aren’t lost and confused at your wedding shopping appointment. Here is an easy glossary of wedding dress jargon for the uninitiated.

Wedding dress necklines:

Apart from the silhouette, the neckline is another distinctive feature of any wedding dress. Apart from the square, round, and V-necklines, here are the other types of necklines seen on wedding dresses.

Strapless: Bodice cuts straight across the bust and there are no supporting straps or sleeves

Sweetheart: Strapless style where the top part of the bodice resembles a heart.

Bateau: Designed in the shape of a boat and reveals collarbones, as it extends from one shoulder to the other

Illusion: Sheer or see-through neckline over the underlying bodice. Often embellished with lace or bead accents.

Single shoulder: Features a single shoulder strap and reveals another shoulder

Queen Anne: Neckline rises at the back of the neck and it has a V-neckline or scoop in the front

Halter: Straps wrap around the neck revealing a low-cut back and deep armhole

High neck: Neckline sits above the collar bones

Off-the-shoulder: Sleeves fall off shoulders to reveal décolletage and collar bones

Spaghetti straps: Thin straps support the bodice on either side

Silhouettes

Here are the most common wedding dress silhouettes.

Ballgown: Structured bodice and ample skirt with layers of fabric that fall to full length.

A-line: Fitted on top and flares away from the body at the waistline, resembling the shape of an A.

Sheath: Column-style dress that outlines the natural curves

Trumpet: Fits snugly along the bodice all the way down to the hips, from where it flares out into a full skirt. Also known as the trumpet

Mermaid: Silhouette structure similar to the trumpet, but skirt begins below the knee creating a more dramatic effect

Sleeves

The terms full sleeves, half sleeves, and three-fourth length sleeves are self-explanatory. Apart from these, there are other types of sleeve styles as follows.

Cap sleeves: Barely cover the shoulders and top of the arms, revealing the armhole

Bell: Fitted sleeves that taper into a bell-shape as it reaches the wrists

Juliet: Fitted at the wrist and puffed in the area between the shoulders and wrist

Waistlines

Basque: V-shaped defined waistline

Empire: High waist that begins just below the bust and continues into a full skirt

Dropped Waist: Bodice extends to beyond the actual waistline

Wedding dress trains

The length of fabric that extends beyond the wedding dress contributes to the overall impact and adds to the attractiveness of a dress. Based on length, the following types of trains exist.

Sweep: Short train that just brushes the floor as you walk

Court: This train extends to a foot beyond the hemline

Chapel: Longer than the court train and usually measures three to four feet long from the natural waistline

Cathedral: Dramatic train that measures over six feet from the waistline

Royal: The long train that flows to twelve feet or more length.

Wedding dress fabrics

Fabrics like chiffon and crepe are lightweight and soft. Satin and silk are also soft but have a distinguishing sheen. Taffeta is heavy with a lustrous sheen. Organza and tulle are stiff fabrics used in structured gowns. A variety of lace also appears on wedding dresses. Find out how to identify each type of wedding dress lace in our article here.

Although we have covered most of the terms you will come across when you go shopping for your wedding dress, this list isn’t exhaustive. If you would like to learn more about these terms and in greater detail, here is an article on the Brides website to help you.

Now let us move on to the next important part of your research—identifying your body type and suitable wedding dress silhouettes.

Identify your body type and shortlist best dress silhouettes

We already mentioned that not all gowns look good on all body. To improve your chances of finding a dress that is right for you, you should first identify your body type.

There are four body types: Triangle or Pear, Inverted Triangle or Apple, Hourglass, and straight or Rectangle. Each body type has its own characteristic features.

Triangle or Pear: Small bust but wide hips and waistline that lacks definition.

Inverted Triangle or Apple: Broad shoulders and a slighter lower half.

Hourglass: Well-balanced upper and lower halves and defined waistline.

Straight or rectangle: Similar proportions in the upper and lower halves and waistline not well-defined.

The right wedding dress will flatter the positive aspects and hide the less attractive traits of your body. So, find your body type and later use this information to choose the right dress silhouette for it.

This post on Who What Wear will help you use your different measurements and correctly identify your body type.  Check it out!

Here are some practical silhouette suggestions for each body type.

Triangle or Pear: Hide the larger proportions of your hips and waistline with A-line gowns and ball gowns that flare out at the waist. Avoid the trumpet and sheath, since these styles accentuate the hip and stomach area.

Inverted Triangle or Apple: A-line dresses and ball gowns with thick skirts that nip at the waistline are suitable for this body type. We do not recommend the trumpet and for this body type.

Hourglass: If you have an hourglass figure, you can carry almost any wedding dress silhouette with ease. Aim to show off your curvy figure and slender waistline with dresses that closely follow your natural curves.

Straight or rectangle: Increase your feminine appeal with ball gowns and sheaths that create the illusion of curves. Avoid fitted styles like the mermaid and dropped waist dresses that enhance the straight contours of your body.

Find the right place to buy your wedding dress 

Remember what I told you in the beginning about factors that affect your wedding dress selection?

Based on your personal preferences, specific needs, and budget constraints, decide where to shop. The following are the options available to you.

Bridal salons: The traditional place to buy a wedding dress, you can enjoy a one-on-one session with a dedicated consultant who will take you through your choices during your appointment slot. Bridal salons have a variety of designer collections, and you can try dresses based on the ideas you communicate with your consultant.

Trunk sales: The perfect option if you want dresses only from a particular designer. New collections are introduced to such customers at highly reduced prices, so you can choose a dress at a lower price than you have to pay otherwise.

Sample Sales: This is when bridal salons sell off old stock to make space for new collections. The dresses, in this case, are either floor samples or those in the store inventory. So, there will be limited sizes and you may have to clean the gown before using it on your wedding day.

Consignment shops: This is the perfect place to find designer dresses at a discount. Good consignment stores will have dresses that are good-as-new, available at a fraction of the cost of a similar original gown.

Online: Consider this option if you have no way to shop at a real store. Online wedding dress shopping is risky and many brides have terrible experiences when choosing this route. This post sheds some light on why online wedding dress shopping isn’t a wise idea.

Compile all information and shortlist your options 

A quick question—What do you think was the idea behind all this wedding dress research?

It was to collect all relevant information and use it to narrow down choices to the right selection criteria.

As you do your research and understand about wedding dresses, collect and compile information on dress styles and features that appeal to you. Start a Pinterest board and start collecting pictures of dresses you like.

Don’t worry if you seem to fall in love with all the dresses you come across when you first begin. To narrow down your options, ask yourself the following questions

  • What features of this dress are suitable for my wedding theme?
  • What makes it suitable for the weather at the time of my wedding?
  • Why is this dress a comfortable choice for my wedding?
  • What is the stand-out feature of this dress that is most appealing?
  • Will this dress flatter my natural figure and best features?

Soon enough, you will see a pattern emerge and this will help you identify what dress features appeal most to you. This information will be of valuable help when you go shopping.

Step 5: Get ready for your shopping session 

By this stage, you have all the information you need and are ready to go shopping. So, here is what is left to do.

Choose your entourage

Your wedding dress is the most important dress you will ever choose, and you must make this decision wisely. So, invite two or three of your closest family members or friends to help you. The reason we tell you to limit the size of your party is that too many people will do more damage than good. Take along only those whose opinions really matter to you, and who can actually contribute to your decision

Book your appointment

Find a convenient time and date for your shopping appointment at the boutique you choose. Preferably have your appointment on a weekday when the salon will be less crowded.

Get everything you need for your appointment ready

Make sure that you are prepared for dress shopping by carrying all that you need for the day with you. Wear clothes that are easy to change out of. If you will be wearing heels on your wedding day, carry a pair to your shopping appointment. For more tips, visit this post. 

Understand what to expect at your bridal appointment

Every bridal dress shopping appointment is different. The better prepared you are for what to expect, the more likely you are to have a productive and pleasant shopping experience. We suggest that you read the information here, to obtain a fair idea and prepare well for your shopping trip.

Set your expectations correctly

It is easier to find the perfect gown when you are flexible and open-minded. You will have experienced bridal consultants directing you, so listen to them. Try on their suggestions even if it isn’t something you would pick. You may be lucky and find your dream wedding dress this way. Trust me, this happens all the time!

Remember that you may not always find your wedding dress on your first trip to the store. This is perfectly normal. Be patient and flexible and you are sure to find the perfect dress that completes your bridal vision with perfection.

As you prepare for your wedding dress shopping, don’t forget to visit our bridal gallery at Best for Bride for inspiration. Find an immense variety of jaw-dropping designer collections in every price range and with every feature you may seek in our collection. Shortlist your favorites and get ready to go shopping. With expert consultants, excellent infrastructure facilities and all associated services under one roof, Best for Bride is the best destination for you to find your wedding gown, whenever you are ready.

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Bridal pant suits, tiered skirts and other unique wedding dress styles we love

One of the best things about wedding fashion is that it is constantly evolving. Although the traditional layered wedding gown is still popular, bridal dress designers also impress us with unusual and unexpected trends for brides who want something different for their wedding day. The latest trends in wedding dresses are so unusually interesting that I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them would continue to be favorites season after season. Take the 3-D floral trend for instance. It made its appearance several years ago, and still continues to be a big hit. This charming design feature has been played with in different ways, extended to other motifs of nature and even tried out in colors and bigger proportions. And one thing is clear, the trend is here to stay.

There are many more design features that have been bookmarked by many brides and wedding fashion enthusiasts, long before they set their wedding dates. Let us explore this list of the unique and interesting wedding dress styles that are anything but traditional, but impressive enough to stay.

Bridal Pant Suits

With same-sex weddings growing common these days, bridal pant suits which rose to fame in 2014 continue to be favored by many couples. It is not only for lesbian brides though. There are many brides who choose them for their practicality and style factor. In fact, the chances are high for any bride who isn’t used to wearing dresses to choose a pant suit over a poufy wedding dress. And the modern designs are stylish and dressy enough for the bride to look special on her big day. One of the most popular choices is divided skirts, where the pant suit looks super-chic and very bridal. Well-tailored suits with elegant embellishments are equally attractive. We have also noticed the unusual pairing of the pant suit with the very feminine veil as the accessory of choice for a “tradition meets modern” bridal statement.

Two-in-one wedding dresses

We have lost track of the number of times we have been asked for dresses that allow a bride to easily transform from a traditional bride at the wedding ceremony to a stylish diva for the wedding reception. Two-in-one wedding dresses are our go-to solution in such situations. Dubbed the two-fer, these dresses feature an overlay skirt over a figure-fitting silhouette like the mermaid. The overlay skirt is often elaborate and richly layered, so it has the appearance of a rich ball gown. This is usually perfect for a traditional wedding ceremony and a princess-look for the bride. Post the wedding ceremony, all the bride has to do is take off the overlay skirt, and she has a new look for the reception. Much easier than changing into a whole new gown, don’t you think? Also, it is more economical than spending double on two gowns.

Tiered wedding skirts

Tiered wedding skirts are the happy balance between ball gowns and modern wedding dress styles. They have the drama of the ball gown, but are more sophisticated and look contemporary. Tiers can be seen mostly on A-line and fit and flare silhouettes like the mermaid or trumpet. They are beautiful in every fabric, although they are common in lace, satin and tulle. Tiered skirts are often paired with sweetheart and strapless necklines, that add to the dramatic effect. They may also be embellished with scalloped details at the edges or ruffles. Designers have also tried unusual embellishments like feathers and fringes in tiered wedding skirts. However, these choices are better suited for bold brides than conventional brides.

Muted shades of pink

Ever since blush became a widely sought-after bridesmaid dress color, muted shades of pink have stolen many a bride’s heart. Blush, in particular, is a favorite as it has a delicate, feminine charm. The color is soft so many brides can safely choose it in their bridal dresses and not deviate too far from traditional white. Another charming factor about this color is that it looks good on most complexions. It is also the perfect base color for lace details like floral icons and others to pop up against. Blush renders itself beautifully to both modern and vintage wedding dress designs. Whether it is in a ruffled wedding dress skirt or a modern minimalist silhouette, this dainty color as well as other subtle shades of pink are big hits in the bridal world. We do not see them disappearing from the scene anytime soon.

Plunging necklines

Definitely a choice for the bold and daring bride, plunging necklines are no longer the fashion statements of celebrities on the red carpet. Plunging V-necklines, daringly low scoops and deep keyhole designs are all hot trends on the bridal fashion scene. The widespread interest in the reinvention of these styles and number of collections featuring this detail simply tell us that more and more women are choosing to sport this bold style feature in their wedding dresses. To avert any potential disaster, all that is necessary is to add a sheer modesty piece to the neckline. Nevertheless, after the daringly low back details that were once a hit on the bridal scene, plunging necklines are a hot and happening thing. Plunging necklines are often featured with straps or sleeveless dresses that add a finishing touch to the glamorous detail.

Asymmetrical hemlines

Interesting elements like high-low wedding dress hemlines instantly add a touch of drama to the bridal look. This is a feature that has not just gained favor in the general fashion scene, but has influenced wedding fashion as well. High-low hemlines may be used in short or long gowns. It can also be added as an additional feature that appears over the regular wedding skirt. Asymmetrical hemlines usually involve more fabric to create the flowy effect, and are commonly paired with A-line dress styles, sheaths or fit and flare silhouettes for maximum impact. This is a great choice for casual-theme weddings where the bride wants a dress that isn’t too formal, but looks bridal enough all the same.

Off-the-shoulder neckline

A sexy dress feature that allows the bride to show off her well-toned shoulders and collar bones, the off-the-shoulder neckline looks beautiful on wedding gowns. The exposed shoulders and neckline balance out poufy wedding dress skirts. Off-the-shoulder necklines are very feminine, and may be paired with any dress silhouette. When paired with ball gown skirts and A-line dresses, it has a princess look, whereas it looks stylish and modern when paired with sheaths and fit and flare silhouettes. The neckline may either feature short sleeves or be combined with long full-sleeves for a vintage look. This neckline feature has been added to both lace gowns as well as satin and silk wedding dresses. It may also be paired with a draped bodice or an embellished one in different designs.

Illusion details on sleeves

Illusion necklines were and continue to be a bridal favorite. Although the sleeve length has varied from full-sleeves to strapless styles and those in between, there are always brides who want to look modest and sport wedding dresses with sleeves that cover their arms. Then, there are also those brides who want sleeves because their arms are too thick or too skinny to show-off. Illusion sleeve details are a happy middle ground between fully covered and very modest styles and the strapless style that reveals arms all the way from the shoulders to the fingers. Illusion sleeves are usually executed in lace, and have a delicate feminine appeal. This is a feature that is great for formal wedding styles and looks good on both slender and curvy brides. The details may range from intricate lace structures to widely dispersed and scattered details. It can also have embellishments or be simple.

Modern minimalist

Less is more for the modern minimalist bride. Non-fussy, uncluttered wedding gowns do not have to be simple and boring. Instead they can be stunning and splendid, despite the simplicity. Minimalist wedding dresses allow brides to draw focus to other aspects of their wedding trousseau, like their jewelry and accessories. Sleek and simple modern silhouettes usually focus on enhancing the natural beauty of the bride by drawing attention to her best assets in an obvious way. The most popular silhouettes are fit and flare and column, that either snugly fit the body curves or create the illusion of more curves than the lady possesses. Minimalist dresses may also feature selected embellishments that are vivid and stylish. This is a great pick for the bride who wants her personality to shine through the attire she sports on this important day in her life.

Defined waistlines

More brides today are determined to get in shape and look their best on their wedding days. And when they have great bodies to show off, it is only imperative that they draw attention to the smallest and most attractive of their assets, like a slim waistline. Wedding dresses with emphasized waistlines are just as popular as accessories like bows, sashes and waistbands that define the waistline clearly. This feature is common on not only poufy wedding dresses, but the demarcation of the waistline is even incorporated into fit and flare dresses where there usually is no clear waistline. One of the most interesting factors about defining the waistline specifically is that it gives the dress a youthful appearance. So, although dropped waistlines and empire styles are still sough after by many brides, dresses which highlight slender waists and even draw attention to it are favored by brides who are in good shape in time for their wedding.

Fantastic back details

This is one trend that we simply cannot get enough of. Every year, wedding designers outdo themselves by presenting us with wedding dresses featuring fantastic back details. The mysterious charm of an ornate back detail is unbeatable, and it is a must-have for every bride on her special day. From fabulous illusion detailing to tasteful lace cut-outs, embellished details, low-cut backs and keyhole designs, details in the back easily impress. It is also an interesting way of showing of your sexy side without worrying about a wardrobe disaster. To highlight back details, the bride must ideally choose a hairstyle that doesn’t cover up the essential details. It may also be hidden when you wear a veil. So, if you choose a dress with a fantastic back, make sure to take off the veil after the ceremony and give it the attention it deserves. Fantastic back details are also stand-out features in bridal and couple portraits. So make sure your photographer pays attention to this detail, if your dress features it.

Over the recent years, many trends have appeared and disappeared. While going with the trend is fun, remember that your wedding dress will be the focal point in your wedding album in years to come. It may perhaps even be passed down generations, and you always want to look classic and timeless in them. We believe that the trends we listed here today, are those that will help you look stylish. In short, these are the trends that are bound to be repeated time and again, and never go out of fashion.

So, tell us which of these dress features do you like the most? Have you chosen any of them in your wedding dress?

And for more wedding dresses and a fantastic selection to make your pick from, check out this link to our wedding dress collections at Best for Bride. From traditional and vintage to modern and contemporary dresses, we have all the dresses you can dream of. Book your appointment with us today, and visit any of our locations in Canada to make your wedding dress dreams come true. And if you are a bride from outside Canada, try our online shopping option for a reliable experience.

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9 wedding dresses that reinvent classic traditions

There are two types of wedding dresses that are memorable—those that reinvent classic traditions and others that are strikingly unique. If we look at the former, it so happens that there are many classic dress features that are always look great in a wedding dress. When these features are incorporated beautifully, the dress becomes unusually appealing and attractive.

Many designer wedding gown collections today feature dresses with unusual twists on all-time favorite features. Here, we shall look at 10 such design details in some fantastic wedding gowns that blend tradition with modernity,  to look both attractive and beautiful.

1.Deep V-neckline

Powerfully sexy and very bold, the deep V-neckline is a universally flattering feature that looks great on brides of most body types. Since this design feature is usually found on gowns with straps or sleeves, it supports the bust area and thus looks very attractive. Another advantage of the V-neckline is that it is naturally slimming and is capable of creating the illusion of a longer upper body.

In the Mori Lee gown featured here, the V-neckline is accentuated with embellishments along its length. This makes the neckline very prominent and draws attention to the decolletage and cleavage. The sleeveless design also allows the bride to show off her arms. The fit and flare design of the gown is another element that creates the illusion of extra height.

2.Off-the-shoulder straps

There is something seductive and extremely attractive about a wedding gown with straps that seem to fall off the shoulder. These gowns have an old-fashioned Hollywood appeal and are extremely sexy, without being in-the-face flashy. It is in fact, more attractive than a regular strapless dress as it looks very feminine despite exposing the shoulder. This feature on a dress draws attention to the neck, decolletage and shoulders. So, it is a perfect choice for brides who have a well-toned upper body.

In the Jasmine bridal dress featured here, the off-the-shoulder neckline is sultry and appealing. The simple embellishment of crystals at the corner of the bodice where the straps begin is extremely attractive. This is a definite winner if the bride is a slim beauty who would like to show off her neck, shoulders and decolletage. We also love how the dress seamlessly drapes along the bust, waist and hips, and later flows into a slight fit and flare skirt that cascades to the ground.

3.Embellished sleeves

Long-sleeved gowns were popularly loved in the past, with elaborate puffy shoulders and sequins adorning the sleeves. Though padded shoulders and puffed sleeves may not find favor with the modern bride, the entire idea of long-sleeved wedding gowns isn’t quickly forgotten.

Here is a Mori Lee gown with full-sleeves. The beauty of this dress lies in the fact that the sleeves are not your regular state-of-the-art plain sleeves, but are embellished with lace details throughout the length to look very interesting and appealing. With floral appliques spanning the outer edge of the sleeves, the sheer fabric over the rest of the sleeve length creates a beautiful look with skin barely peeping out from within. The dress is a masterpiece in itself, with the soft sweetheart neckline and beautiful floral appliques adding extra charm to the lace dress.

4.Lace

Lace is a timeless and elegant classic wedding dress feature where weddings are concerned. There are few other wedding dress features that are as attractive as lace. The expression of thick and breezy elements that spiral and float in floral designs throughout the length of a dress is very attractive and it is no wonder that it is favored by many brides. Modern designers have honed the exquisite beauty of lace dresses, by adding more features that accentuate the beauty of the floral designs. By including embellishments like crystals, rhinestones and beads and crafting them into illusion neckline designs, lace is given new life so it looks updated and modern.

In this dreamy Sophia Tolli wedding dress, elaborate lace work has been played to perfection in every section. The sheer neckline over the sweetheart bodice is exquisite as it blends into classic cap-sleeves. At the waist is a scintillating chevron band formed of rhinestones and crystal, and this adds a modern touch to a classic element like lace. The fit and flare silhouette gracefully glides into a scalloped hemline, where the lace details are further embodied with perfection. This is a glamorous gown, but one that is a striking symbol of classic beauty.

5.Sheath silhouette

After the Victorian era of tight corsets that sucked in a woman’s body to fit the look of a perfect hourglass figure, women started embracing their natural curves and accepted loose fitting garments with open arms. The wedding scene was no different, as more and more brides boldly began dressing for their big day in gowns with fluid wedding gowns in sheath silhouettes. These dresses would softly fall over their natural curves and emphasize their natural body shape to perfection. It was an expression of confidence and sensuality, and has continued to be favored by several wedding designers ever since.

The Elsa from the Alfred Angelo Disney collection is inspired by the snow princess in the movie Frozen. Featuring a sheath silhouette embellished with a scattering of snowflake beads, this gown is an elegant and powerful dress that will do wonders for the bride wearing it. The simplicity of the sweetheart neckline contrasts well with the Watteau train that beautifully glides behind like a rippling stream of water. This is a fairy-tale gown that looks like what you could seen in a dream, and any woman who grew up loving storybook princesses would love to embrace the classic silhouette that magnifies her femininity.

6.Empire Waistline

The empire waistline is a raised waistline style that began as part of Neoclassical fashion. This style goes back to the 18th century when it was first seen during the time of the First French Empire. The elevated waistline usually has a circumference that snugly goes around the bust region. It is a flattering style for those who have unsightly curves in the waist and stomach area. Since this pattern camouflages these areas, it hides a bulky waistline while highlighting the bust. The empire silhouette is greatly favored by modern day brides, and is clubbed with several modern elements to fashion a stylish and contemporary look.

This gown from the petite brides collection at Best for Bride features an empire waistline attached to a fit and flare silhouette. This gives a new look to the gown, as the traditional empire waistline was usually attached to a layered skirt that flared out from the bosom. Here, this modern fit gown simply makes use of the empire waistline style by highlighting the elevated waistline with a bow that runs around the circumference of the gown at the bust. This particular feature gives the skirt the illusion of added length, thus making the bride look taller than she actually is. This is one benefit of a design like this.

7.Cap sleeves

Cap sleeves are not only a welcome change from the ever-so-common strapless wedding gown style, there are also very feminine in their appeal. This is a style that is very forgiving for women who wish to hide their shoulders and those who seek a modest look and style with their wedding dress choice. While it offers the necessary coverage, this classic dress style element also gives you the opportunity to flaunt the rest of your arms. The modern updates of the cap-sleeve style usually focus on mixing it with illusion necklines for an attractive finish. It looks extremely beautiful when attached to lace gowns.

In this couture wedding gown from the Jasmine collection, the cap sleeve design instantly adds sophistication and style to the design. Since it is done in Venice lace, it is very dainty and feminine, and the scalloped neckline formed of very fine lace appliques integrates with the sweetheart bodice in an elegant fashion. The neckline and sleeves perfectly complement the beautiful fit and flare design of the gown, and is suitable for both the modern bride and the tradition-loving girl.

8.Ball gown

One of the silhouettes that screams wedding is the traditional ball gown. While the original ball gowns were usually done in crispy or silky fabric, the current trend is to use netting and tulle or lace to create fantastic and dramatic silhouettes. The original design usually showcased a skirt with very little to no detailing, and all the embellishments were in the bodice. Designers these days however, spare no detail and the embellishments are seen in the skirts too. The result is dramatic and these gowns easily pack a punch.

This Mori Lee gown is a fine example of what we just discussed. The skirt almost has a 3D effect with the various floral appliques extending all over the bodice and again reappearing along the hemline. The muted color of the base fabric forms an attractive base for the beautiful motifs along the hemline. Adding more womanly appeal to the pattern is the softly sculpted sweetheart bodice that highlights a pair of well-toned arms and decolletage.

9.Plunging backs

Dresses with plunging backs were made for brides who are unable to expose their shoulders, collar bones or cleavage, but have that rebellious streak which makes them want to make one bold statement. Plunging backs are famous again, but this time in a range of options like never before. Those who deem it unfit to wear a low-cut back can still opt for the illusion style back detail dresses that allow them to conceal, yet reveal. With simple lace details or floral appliques forming beautiful pictures in the back, they are bound to enrapture everyone who glances at them from behind during the wedding ceremony. Low-cut plunging backs with embellishments bordering them are also a trending favorite, and these features create an exquisite statement for any wedding dress.

This Jasmine couture wedding gown is a beautiful and delicate work of lace which features an open V-neckline in the front and a deep cut neckline at the rear. The soft lace has an exquisite charm with its intricately woven details that span the entire length of the gown in pretty little clusters that are thicker in the front and thin out in the skirt. Perfect for a formal wedding ceremony, the deep-plunging back is the one striking element that gives this dress a signature finish. Few dresses have the elegance to strike a charismatic effect as this dress does. Alencon lace marries with tulle to form the fantastic details that makes this dress a dream to wear.

Wedding dress trends are a forever evolving scene, with some fashion trends staying longer than the others. Classic design details like those discussed above are the few features that are perpetual favorites. Of course, you may find the occasional bride who doesn’t want lace or can’t imagine dressing up in a full-sleeve wedding gown. But we should remember that these are rare. Most of the features listed here are those that will forever remain etched in our memories as timeless and hence, classic. The list doesn’t end here. As the years progress, more and more designers come up with even more interesting details from the past and breathe new life into them with their designs. So, as long as there will be weddings and those who love history, the classics will continue to be reinvented.

At Best for Bride we are well-stocked with all the designs you can imagine. These range from the attractive timeless classics above to the most modern and trendy designs you can imagine. Come visit our website and have a glimpse of what is on offer. You are certain to find at least a few gowns that you will fall in love with. So, if you are a bride planning to get married in the near future, head over to Best for Bride today. We have you covered with not only wedding dresses, but have everything that you will want for your special day.